As the 2020-2021 NFL season made its delayed return during the time of COVID-19 social distancing, Verizon Media introduced a new way for fans to engage with their favorite teams and NFL community via Watch Together, a new co-viewing experience that enables fans to video chat on their phones while watching live local and primetime games in the Yahoo Sports App. Users are able to invite up to three family and friends to watch live NFL games on their mobile phones through a livestream, creating an interactive and virtual experience that makes viewers feel like they are experiencing the game together. Watch Together, made available first in the Yahoo Sports app, is free to use, and allows users to create their own community during a game.
As Verizon Media strives to create community-driven, next-gen experiences among consumers with shared passion points, Watch Together achieved just that by giving people a new and safe way to connect to a beloved sport in times of COVID-19. While NFL fans were not able to watch their favorite teams in person during the 2020-2021 season, Watch Together brought the fan community experience to the consumer in the safety and comfort of their own home.
At the same time, Verizon Media also announced the new “Yahoo Sports PlayAR” game center experience enhanced with an innovative augmented reality experience using NFL’s Next Gen Stats. The new Yahoo Sports game center experience offers fans the ability to see graphical replays of key NFL game plays in near real-time using NFL’s proprietary Next Gen Stats player tracking data.
Leveraging Verizon Media’s ecosystem, technology and streaming capabilities, the brand has the unique ability to create powerful and immersive entertainment experiences of the future like no other.
Verizon Media’s Watch Together innovation launched at the perfect time as in-person contact has been limited due to football stadium closures across the country. At a time when most fan communities could not physically gather to enjoy games together, Verizon Media provided a unique way to bring the real-time and interactive watch party experience into the safety of everyone’s own homes. The result -- 30%+ more overall game minutes watched on NFL Live by users who participate in the Watch Together experience.
To showcase Verizon Media's technology and streaming capabilities at launch, sports legend Eli Manning educated the press on the new Watch Together innovation, sharing personal career stories and who he would invite to Watch Together, further amplifying Verizon's partnership with the NFL. Eli continued to share the news and his personal point of view of the new technology with wider audiences through a sponsored Entertainment Tonight segment on “Game Day Watch Parties,” as well as during a panel discussion with Verizon Media’s CEO, Guru Gowrappan at Advertising Week 2020.
Earned Media Sentiment was 100% positive with coverage from Variety, Sports Business Journal, CNET, Fast Company, TheVerge and more.
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